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Mythic Realms

Mythic Realms

The Moral Imagination in Literature & Film

By Bradley J. Birzer

228 pp

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About the Book

A sequel of sorts to Bradley Birzer’s Beyond Tenebrae (Angelico Press, 2019), Mythic Realms seeks to pursue excellences in the last hundred years of literature and film. Still rooted in Christian Humanism and Burke’s moral imagination, Birzer offers here a series of autobiographical vignettes, following which he analyzes fiction from Willa Cather to J.R.R. Tolkien to Stephen King to Frank Miller, and considers everything from the novel to the graphic novel. From the world of film he explores the works of John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Roland Joffé, and Christopher Nolan, while not neglecting popular TV series such as Star TrekX-FilesDaredevil, and Stranger Things. In the end, though, after these many thought-provoking investigations, Birzer concludes that all things come down to reverence—both mythic and real—for the Blessed Mother and, especially, for her son, Jesus Christ.


“Bradley Birzer has here compiled a set of scintillating essays that combine his erudition with his love for popular culture. Sharing his own love of reading and film, he sees the beauty in Batman, takes pleasure in pulp fiction, and appreciates the philosophy and theology infused into fantasy literature and science fiction. In this potpourri of movies, TV shows, and books, Birzer sifts, critiques, and analyzes—helping us make sense of a tsunami of wildly imaginative input that too often threatens to overwhelm.”


blogger and author of The Way of the Wilderness Warrior and Letters on Liturgy


“This rollicking tour of literature, music, and cinema is both deeply learned and deeply personal. And Brad Birzer is the perfect guide: articulate, sensitive, faithful, and truth-seeking at every bend and stretch of the imaginative road.”


Editor of Catholic World Report

About the Author

BRADLEY J. BIRZER is Russell Amos Kirk Chair in American Studies and professor of history, Hillsdale College. He also spent one academic year as the Conservative Scholar at CU-Boulder. He is author of books on J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Russell Kirk, Christopher Dawson, and Neil Peart. He is also author of Angelico’s Beyond Tenebrae: Christian Humanism in the Twilight of the West. He and his wife Dedra have seven children, one dog and several cats, and split their year between Michigan and South Dakota.

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